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Issues with cryptosporidium......

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Posted by: Kelly_Haller at Sat May 8 17:03:09 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Kelly_Haller ]  
   

Ian is absolutely correct, if they just ran a standard fecal exam, the oocysts of the crypto organism will never show up. They are extremely small (just a few microns) and are virtually transparent, and almost impossible for the untrained eye to see even under high power microscopy. We always used an acid-fast carbol fuchsin stain that makes the oocysts a bright pink-red and then they show up very well. After a lot of time on the scope, I got to the point that I could positively identify them unstained, but that was at 1,000 power and even then it was not easy. Staining is really a must to be certain. So the big question would be did they specifically test for crypto.

The diarrhea and regurgitation are the most common symptoms along with the mid-body swelling caused by the damage to the stomach wall. In heavier body snakes the swelling usually is not visible. In a small, thin suboc like you have, you should be able to at least feel a slight swelling if you check for it as it crawls through your fingers. Quarantine is highly critical as crypto is probably the most easily transmitted of all snake parasites. Always wear disposable gloves when handling the snake or anything that has come into contact with it if crypto is suspected. And always complete any maintenance with it last, after you have completed any work with the rest of your collection. Always wash hands and any equipment used with Betadine solution.

If crypto is ruled out, I would sure guess this was bacterial. You said they checked for bacteria, and so are you saying they actually plated and isolated for different bacterial species? I would be curious as to how in-depth they attempted to isolate possible causative bacterial species. It is usually pretty difficult to rule out this issue without fairly exhaustive testing.

Kelly


   

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